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Easy Winter Activities for Upper Elementary Classrooms

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By Sherri Miller, Marissa Despins, Tiffany Schmidt, Cristy de Cardenas and Tanya Marshall

Cool winds are blowing, snowflakes are falling, and it's the perfect time for winter activities in the upper elementary classroom! Even if the snow isn't falling where you are, students are wishing for snowball fights and hot chocolate (and maybe even a snow day)! Bring a bit of snow-themed fun into your classroom with these quick and easy winter activities.

Integrate Digital Winter Activities

Amidst the winter wonderland outside, teachers in upper elementary grades embark on a journey to keep students engaged and motivated during the colder months. Teachers need creative strategies to keep classrooms warm with learning. I find that integrating digital winter-themed activities in grammar lessons keeps students interested and on task. In both the singular and plural nouns and possessive and plural nouns activities, students practice and review nouns skills using various interactive Google Slides. Throughout these activities, students complete sentences, sorts, charts, and Venn diagrams and enjoy the change of pace from a traditional worksheet. (The digital format is no prep and a great time-saver for teachers, too!)

Share Winter Read-Alouds

Your Thrifty Co-Teacher Winter Read Alouds 2

Sharing timely read alouds is one of Cristy from Your Thrifty Co-Teacher's favorite winter activities to do with upper elementary students. She believes that nothing creates more memories or opportunities to have meaningful conversations with 4th & 5th grade students than sharing age appropriate picture books with them. Because not all winter themed read alouds are made for older kids, Cristy has composed a well thought out list of winter picture books that your older students will enjoy.

Add Flair with Winter Math Mystery Puzzles

In upper elementary, it might seem like students are too old for seasonal-themed activities, given the “too cool” attitude they sometimes bring to the classroom. However, the truth is, they're still kids at heart, and they genuinely enjoy these activities! (Plus, it can even boost behavior and engagement – a definite win-win!)

Tiffany from The Learning Effect found that 5th and 6th graders (yes, even those on the cusp of middle school!) still relish seasonal-themed activities incorporated into their regular practice sessions. Regardless of the grade you teach, your students will appreciate something different to spice up their math skills practice. One effective approach is using winter-themed math mystery pictures and digital pixel art activities.

The Learning Effect - Winter Activities Math Mystery Pictures

Seasonal themes, like winter, can be educationally relevant while adding a bit of fun flair. Students tackle math problems, and their answers determine the colors they use in the mystery picture. The digital version has a self-check feature; when students type in a correct answer, part of the mystery picture automatically reveals itself. It's an engaging way to keep students learning and focused during the chilly winter months!

Incorporate Winter STEM Activities

As the holiday season approaches, educators often find themselves looking for creative ways to keep students engaged while still incorporating educational elements. Marissa from Creative Classroom Core finds that an effective way to do this is by integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) challenges into her curriculum. STEM activities involve hands-on learning experiences that encourage students to apply their knowledge and skills across multiple disciplines. To read more about Christmas STEM Challenges, and ways you can incorporate them into your lessons this holiday season, check out the Creative Classroom Core blog.

Gamify Winter Task Cards

Frigid temperatures and shorter sunlit days make teaching during winter tough! But Tanya Marshall, The Butterfly Teacher, believes that with a little creativity and energy, you can make winter activities for upper elementary fun regardless of the weather. That’s why she jazzes up her math task cards with winter game mats. Your kiddos will work in pairs and they can use any set of math task cards as partners. But to keep those task cards from being boring, Tanya adds a Snowman Game Mat labeled “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.” As students answer the task cards correctly, they can color in a snowflake. The snowflakes–which are all different designs–weave around a short trail leading to the snowman. Incorrect answers cannot color in a snowflake. Whoever gets to the snowman first wins! This fun way to gamify learning is just one of many ideas that Tanya shares in her post Winter Math Activities for Upper Elementary. Would you like to try this in your classroom?

These winter-themed activities are the perfect antidote to the chilly season. By infusing the classroom with these quick and easy ideas, educators can create an environment where the magic of winter not only enhances the learning experience but also fosters a sense of joy and connection that lasts well beyond the snowy days.

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Welcome to The Techie Chick! I’m Sherri, and I’m glad you’ve dropped by my space on the web. Here, you’ll find teaching tips and resources for grade 2 through 5 with a focus on math, science, and technology. Be sure to connect with me via social media and let me know how I can help you out. I look forward to sharing what’s worked for me with you here on my site.

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